UFA Defenseman Sean Walker Finds A New Home

He had a fine contract year, splitting his time between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Colorado Avalanche. Now right-shot d-man Sean Walker has parlayed it into a five-year free agent contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. 

The five-year pact is worth $18 million, for a $3.6M AAV. 

The Hurricanes badly needed to find a capable defender after losing two of their top defenseman in free agency today, Brady Skjei to the Nashville Predators and Brett Pesce to the New Jersey Devils. 

“Sean is a dependable right-shot defenseman who has played all situations at a high level during his career,” said Canes GM Eric Tulsky. “He is extremely strong at both ends of the ice, and his offensive abilities are a great fit for our style of play.”

Walker notched 29 points on 10 goals and 19 assists this past season with a plus/minus rating of +11, while playing over 19 minutes per game. He also blocked 127 shots and handed out 118 hits. Each and every one of those numbers are career highs for the 29-year-old. 

Despite the Walker signing, it was a brutal day for the Canes as, in addition to losing Skjei and Pesce, they also weren't able to re-sign Jake Guentzel (whose rights they traded away on the weekend), and lost Teuvo Teräväinen to the Chicago Blackhawks as a UFA as well. They also need to figure out what to do with RFA Martin Necas, who is hoping to get a fresh start elsewhere. 

Tulsky claims he isn't worried about his team getting plundered on Day 1 of Free Agency. 

"There's definitely more work to be done. Today is not the only day of the offseason. So there's plenty of time between now and training camp to adjust the roster". 

Photo: © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports